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to accept her fate in the strange fishbowl world, Kendíka decides it’s
impossible. Call her a pet, will they? Determination revived, she tempts
her “master’s” fury by trying to make life better for the people of Deverow’s
Duchy. She will bring technology to the Regency era or end up a swan trying.
for a higher station in her new existence, Jillian sets her sights on Harry,
the Count of Paddington. The only problem? Getting the man to take notice of
her. Perhaps discovering some common ground—besides their rabbit-like
features—will do the trick.
Kendíka woke to the sound of her bedroom door opening. Punctual as ever, Cordova entered the room, opened the drapes, and let the sunshine spill all around. Kendíka winced and buried her head under the covers.
“Good morning, milady. It’s a beautiful sunny day. Only good things can come of it.” The abigail set off to prepare the usual bath before breakfast.
After stretching one last time, Kendíka crawled out of bed, hurried across the cold floor—yanking her nightgown off as she went—and slipped into the hot water. The steam curled and expanded, filling the room. Her consciousness drifted into the corner of her mind where forbidden thoughts dwelled. It didn’t matter her captors had saved her life, she still considered herself a prisoner in a world lacking suitable technology and electronic commodities. Her gaze wandered to the window to make sure the eyes in the sky, those omniscient surveyors, weren’t present. Her thoughts could be punishable if other beings eavesdropped.
She pushed a lock of hair away from her perspiring face. Science and innovation were antiquated in the ancient world she found herself. Medicine was unnecessary—the beings took care of everyone’s health and did a far better job than doctors and nurses could ever do. But the ban against using the brain for inventions, discoveries, and advancements lit another flame of rebellion in her heart. This existence is useless and impossible. I’m a puppet for their entertainment. My life is worth far more to me. She sank her head underwater and blew bubbles through her nose. Grinding her teeth, she resurfaced. Why didn’t anyone ever revolt against the hazy eyes? I have, and I’m still a person. She had feared but soon realized that with diplomacy she might achieve something. I have accomplished what no one ever has in this little world. She relaxed all her limbs and closed her eyes. Before she was brought to the fishbowl world, no one had ever communicated with the captors. The people feared being turned into swans or disfigured.
Cordova reentered the room with a plush bath sheet draped over her arm. “Milady.”
Smiling her thanks, Kendíka stood, stepped out of the tub, and walked into the towel the abigail held.
This morning, Kendíka recovered the determination she had possessed when her parents were still alive. Nothing would hold her back.
Armed with rediscovered confidence, she took a seat in front of the mirror and sat still while Cordova brushed her wet hair. She admired her own long, thick locks before grabbing the scissors, kept in one of the small drawers of the vanity, and with one swift swink, chopped all her hair off below her earlobe.
“Aaaaaaaah!” Cordova’s screams filled the room.
Gazing in the mirror, Kendíka stared at the abigail’s shocked expression and suppressed a giggle. Life belonged to her again, and she was determined never to relinquish control to anyone for any reason. Saphora can’t punish me for wanting to learn. She faltered. Could she?
With trembling hands, the maid fixed Kendíka’s hair into as pleasing a fashion as possible, her hands trembling so hard it took several attempts before the part came out straight. “What will His Grace say?” She wiped her forehead and pointed to the sky. “What will they do?”
Kendíka stood. “I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.” She walked to the huge armoire and took out a pair of pants and a white ruffled shirt, hidden amongst her ridiculous gowns. Stepping into the man’s clothes, she sauntered to the long mirror to admire her handiwork. The clothing didn’t fit as perfectly as she wanted, but it would do.
“Aye!” Cordova threw her arms in the air. “Child you’re asking for trouble.” Like a wild animal, the abigail stared at her.
Ignoring the abigail and her terrified mumblings, she strolled down the hall and descended the stairs as if she owned the mansion, chuckling to herself at the scandalized glares she received from the servants.
When she entered the dining room, the duke stood, his eyes widening. Wordsworth missed a step, rushing to hold her chair.
The duke and Kendíka sat down. She reached for the napkin, and Charles’ fingers wrapped around her hand. She looked up.
“What have you done?”
About the Author
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi
spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca.
Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when
she found herself growing up in a strange country.
Upon returning to the states, she promised herself
she would speak without an accent.
She attended Wayne State University in Detroit
Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor
Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for
large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer
problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband.
Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates
a good part of her day writing.